The human brain is massively complicated. It’s said that we end up using barely 10% of our brain, which is nothing, but a myth. However, wouldn’t that be interesting! Imagine the thought of having 90% of our brain unused, we could just decide to use it for whatever we pick and choose. I would use 20% to remember all my favorite songs, 30% to remember all my childhood memories and remaining 40% to remember all my history and geography that I never used in my life ever, but it would have been damn useful in school. The only time I really use history now is when I need to impress someone with facts I think they might not know and Geography; I use minimally when I want to travel. If I know the basics of Geography. I can use that knowledge to plan my outfits. Well thanks to AccuWeather now I do not even need that. Google has literally made 90% of our brain free, unused, to be precise. I literally just use Wikipedia for everything that I need to know about. I come across anything that I want to know more about, I do not rely on my memory, but I pull out my phone or open my browser and use Google. So wait, now it’s not a myth anymore that we use 10% of our brain, probably that’s all we care to use.
How cool would it be to actually have an elephant`s memory! Elephants are known to have amazing memory power. Not that you or I would ever know that personally, but let us believe the scientists for saying that. On the other hand, nobody wants to have the memory of the starfish when it comes to studying. Although I also agree that I have the memory of a star fish in one way, I used to forget all about the subject once the exam was over. I would not recommend that! Let us discuss about how we can boost our memory to do better in exams and also to remember to wish all our friends on their birthdays without having a Facebook remind you of it. Sounds good?
1. Which subject do you hate the most?
One way to remember what you are studying is to ponder upon what you dislike the most and combine it with something you like the most. For example, if you are genuinely disinterested in history, but you really like to hang-out with your friends, or one specific friend, combine the two and you will be on your way to becoming a great historian. Ok, that was stretching it, but it seriously works. If you invite your friend over for history, you are alert because you are with your friend. You will automatically associate it with a non-boring activity and it will stay in your memory for good.
2. Incentivise yourself.
What do we mean by that? Aren’t good marks incentive enough to make you study and remember things? Apparently not! If good grades were enough to help us remember things each of us would be A+, but that’s not fun either. Pick a subject or a chapter that you want to memorise. Let’s consider Trigonometry, I have not met a single individual who has been able to make me understand it, so I think it is up to you to memorise the formulas and ace it. Are you interested in watching Never have I ever on Netflix? I bet you are. So, tell your brain to watch two episodes after you have spent double the time at Trigonometry. It’s all about training your brain.
3. Switch on the video/ audio mode
Sometimes our brain remembers what is being spoken to it by someone you like to listen to. If you prefer your friends voice, make them recite the chapter you want to memorise or make them record a video explaining that chapter. You do the same for them. Each one teach one. It’s not only fun, but also super impactful. Try it out.
4. Monitor your brain activity
What time of the day are you super alert and active? Some people are alert early morning some late at night. There do exist a lot of us who like burning the midnight oil, irrespective of what we do, watching our series or studying, we cannot wake up super early and start running around. The choice is entirely yours. Pick the time you like, the time that your brain is in its `beast mode` and then pick up the topic you want your brain to remember and put your 100% into it. When you let your brain pick its own time, it usually functions stress free. Some further ways to alert your brain are- running or jogging for 10-15 minutes to wake yourself up, dancing to your favourite song or just listening to some fast-paced music will also do the trick. Often, we tend to lose focus or our mind diverts when we hold a book, you can just start doodling for five minutes and come back to your book. It’s a little refresher to help retain what you study without losing focus.
5. Go the old school way
If the tricks are too much to handle and if you want to memorise things in the simplest way, writing is the best way to go. It’s simple and easy. When you learn something, go on writing the important parts. This way you are doing it twice already. You are reading and writing, making your brain focus on the next step, alerting multiple senses at the same time. When your brain is multitasking and being extra alert, things that you study stay in your memory for long. Sensory association is also at play. Your eyes, your hands, your mind, all are functioning in tandem to create a memorable symphony.
So these are five simple tricks to retain what you study. Certainly, they can be used throughout your life and not just in schools during exams. Give it a go and let us know!